Big Island Public Pools to Remain Closed Indefinitely

June 16, 2020, 7:30 AM HST (Updated June 16, 2020, 1:30 AM)
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Mayor Harry Kim. Photo by Josh Pacheco.

Summer has arrived in Hawai‘i and Big Islanders want access to their public pools.

Mayor Harry Kim said Monday, however, that concerns of cleanliness coupled with the threat of COVID-19 will keep public swimming centers closed indefinitely.

Kim recently issued an Emergency Rule that reopened most businesses, operations, and activities across Hawai‘i County beginning June 15, but public swimming pools didn’t make the list. The mayor explained his rationale in a press release Monday.

“The most important reason we cannot reopen the pools is because of the inability to keep the restrooms and showers clean,” he said. “The facilities need constant monitoring and disinfection to keep them clean due to the heavy use of the facilities by swimmers and non-swimmers, but that’s not feasible due to the shortage of personnel to do it.”

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“Until we are assured that we can meet the responsibility to keep the bathrooms and the swimming pools clean, the pools will stay closed to ensure the public safety,” he continued.

Kim urged the community to keep up their observance of CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus by practicing social distancing, always wearing face coverings in public, and to continue hand washing regularly.

Over the weekend, Hawai‘i County reported its first active case of COVID-19 in three weeks, a reminder that the virus is still present.

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